School of Physics Experimental Particle Physics


Our researchers and some of the projects they are working on with the ATLAS collaboration


Professor Geoff Taylor

Associate Professor Elisabetta Barberio

Current Student Research

Discovery potential for MSSM Higgs bosons decaying to tau-lepton pairs in ATLAS.

Will Davey (Ph.D. Student)

Will Davey

One of the main goals of the LHC is to determine the method of electroweak symmetry breaking (EWSB). EWSB allows the heavy weak gauge bosons W and Z to gain mass, and is therefore a requirement of any phenomenologically accurate theory. In the Standard Model EWSB is acheived via the Higgs mechanism, which requires the existance of the well publicised (yet undiscovered) 'Higgs boson'. Since no evidence for the the Higgs boson, or any other mechanism of EWSB has been found, the mechanism remains unknown. At the same time, there are some theoretical difficulties with the Standard Model Higgs boson, and a number of alternate theories that could also provide a mechanism for EWSB have been proposed. One theory is Supersymmetry, where each Standard Model particle has a superpartener with identical properties but a difference of 1/2 spin units. Supersymmetry still employs the Higgs mechanism to acheive EWSB, however, requires a more complicated Higgs sector. The Minimal Supersymmetric Model (MSSM) is the combination of Supersymmetry, with the smallest possible Higgs sector required, which includes 3 neutral Higgs bosons: h, H and A, and 2 charged Higgs bosons: H+ and H-. It is hoped that if the MSSM is the true model of nature, then some, if not all of the Higgs bosons will be observable at ATLAS.

In my project I analyse the dicovery potential of the A and H higgs bosons in the ATLAS experiment. I look specifically at the channel where the Higgs decays into pairs of tau-leptons, which is the most sensitive channel for the discovery in ATLAS.

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